It's been a little more than a month since the Town's first bicycle and pedestrian safety map was released, and it's almost sold out already.
The map was a project undertaken by the Town's community safety committee, at the request of the Town, following many complaints by residents about safety issues they've witnessed, mostly on rural roads.
Ken Gansel, vice-chair of the Niagara Region Police Services board, and a member of the Town's safety committee, used the opportunity of the services board meeting held in Niagara-on-the-Lake last week to present Police Chief Bryan MacCulloch with one of the last available copies of the popular map.
The committee had enough money to print 5,000 copies, said Gansel, and he wanted to make sure one found its way into the hands of the police chief and the NRP before they all disappeared.
During the last year or so, the safety committee “created the very first bicycle and pedestrian safety map, with safety messages on the back,” with some assistance from the NRP and the Ministry of Transportation, Gansel said.
“I think this is so very important – that's why it's been issued. We have almost 3 million visitors to NOTL every year and a fair number come by bicycle.”
Residents have been complaining for some time about safety hazards to bicycles, mostly ridden by tourists on wine routes along narrow rural roads, with traffic travelling by at high speeds. The issue has become part of the municipal election campaign for several candidates, some of whom are advocating for more bike paths.
As a member of the safety committee, formerly the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Policing Committee, which was formed almost 30 years ago, Gansel thanked the police chief for his support in helping the committee to continue its work.
The map is available at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce office and in the lobby of the Town Hall.